Was it because Schneider had a good season and looked great? He started just 28 regular season games and has 38 career wins to his name over 4 seasons, with only 2 really significant seasons as a backup. This guy is still a kid, no matter how many people say he's ready to become a starter. The biggest reason his numbers are so great is not because he's playing on a good team or because the team played better in front of him than Luongo, but because he played in spurts. Schneider would only ever play once or twice in a row which is much easier on a goalie mentally and physically. The only time he played a long string of games (7 consecutive when Luongo was injured), his play really deteriorated until he finally cracked on the 7th game, letting in 3 goals on around 15 shots in a period and they were all brutal goals. The biggest reason his stats looked so great was because of the few, scattered starts.
Was it because Schneider excelled in the playoffs? Because I sincerely hope it wasn't. Schneider won just 1 playoff game and while he played well, these were nothing games for the Canucks. In all do respect to Vancouver, falling down 3-0 in the playoffs is essentially the end of any team's season so for me those final 2 starts Schneider played were nothing games. More importantly, the only reason Schneider was thrown in instead of Luongo was because of the team's disgusting play in front of him, so the playoffs should be completely ignored. If anything, Schneider was the one who ended up letting our team down, losing a goalie duel in the 3rd crucial game and a bad series-ending goal in whereas Luongo never got a chance to win a truly important, season-defining game for the Canucks which is unfair considering what he did last season.
Is it because people think Schneider is ready to be a full-time NHL starting goalie? Like I said, Cory Schneider has less than 60 games of NHL experience over 4 years of being in the league, and has only really had 2 significant seasons. He is still a kid and has no idea how to handle a full schedule of games the way Luongo, a true professional, does. Of course the only way for him to learn is by trying him out in a full season and see how he goes, but I for one am not willing to risk our team's cup chances and our core's prime years on a coin toss to see whether or not this guy can handle the pressure of a full NHL season, because there's simply no backup plan there in case Schneider doesn't perform well, in which case our season and Cup hopes are down the drain for the next few years. For those comparing Schneider to Quick or Rinne, these guys stepped right into the NHL spotlight with a few 40-60 game seasons before they really started to play well, which is plenty of experience compared to Schneider's 2 20-game seasons.
Is it because people think Eddie Lack is ready to be a full-time NHL backup goalie? Even if Schneider is going to be our starter, he will have to play less than 60 games to be even the slightest bit successful. We all know of the eerie stat going around that not many goalies in the last decade have won a Cup after playing more than 60 games in the regular season and our coaches and management are fully aware of this as well, getting Luongo's games down as much as possible to better ready him for the playoffs. So if Schneider is to play 60 games, we need a backup trustworthy and capable of at least 20-25 games, and sadly that is not Eddie Lack. This guy has no NHL experience whatsoever so we have no idea how he'll handle the jump from the AHL to NHL, and worst of all he has very limited AHL experience - just 2 seasons of limited games where he hasn't fared remarkably well in terms of wins (great numbers and has shined at times, but consistency may be an issue). All I ask from a backup playing 20-25 games is to have a record of at least 0.500 and I fear Lack may not be quite ready to win 15 NHL games in a season.
Was it because Luongo had a few collapses in the playoffs last season? Just looking at the NHL this season, no goalie is ever perfect or plays his best over the entirety of his career, but we are lucky enough to have one of the most consistent and successful goalies in NHL history in Luongo. When you step back and look at his body of work, Luongo will go down in history as one of the best, and quite frankly Cory Schneider will be lucky if his career comes close to that of Luongo's. We have no idea how Schneider will perform in the playoffs or whether he will be able to win those clutch games like the big games Luongo has won in his career (game 7 against Chicago, Gold medal game, his Finals wins) and so I don't understand why we would risk finding out whether Schneider will be good enough when we have Luongo who we know IS good enough and who will come through in those big moments, time and time again.
Is it because people think Luongo is past his prime? Firstly I'd like to say that the best way to win a Cup is by having a great core that works together well and hits their prime at the same time. We have the Sedins, Kesler, Bieksa, Hamhuis, Edler and Luongo as our core - all of whom are in or very close to their true prime right now. Last year was most possibly the peak of all of our core (as well as a few others), but that doesn't mean their window of opportunity is closed, because all of these guys are still capable of playing well. The problem with opting for Schneider over Luongo is that Schneider is far from his prime, especially as a young, inexperienced goalie. He's only had 2 proper backup seasons in the NHL and not many goalies hit their prime before their 5th season (goalies take much longer to develop), so during these years we would basically be wasting away the prime years of the rest of our core until Schneider finally develops into the best goalie he can be by which time we won't have much of a team in front of him. If we trade Luongo away, we might as well shuffle up our entire core to better suit Cory because it is almost impossible that he will hit his prime within the next one or two seasons after having played very little hockey.
Is it because people think we can move Luongo easier? Yes Luongo's long-term contract doesn't look appealing, but a 5.3 million dollar cap hit is very flexible for a star goaltender these days and many teams are looking for not just a young goalie, but a bonified star who can help them now. Just look at Philadelphia last season, they traded away quite a bit of future talent for a proven star in Bryzgalov and now look where they are. Quite frankly, more teams are interested in a young, potential star goalie because they aren't looking at making a Cup run now (there aren't many teams left where a star goalie is the last piece in the puzzle, but the first piece in the puzzle) but later when their good prospects hit their prime and develop well, which is where we could get quite a bit more out of Cory Schneider. Struggling bottom-feeders are more willing to part with their stars now for a future star goalie in Schneider and harvest picks now to be better in the future anyway, which helps our cause as we get a good player in his prime now who can match our core better.
Is it because people think Schneider is a friendlier, more likeable guy? It almost seems to me that Schneider is the one who wants more ice time and wants to be a starter, being a bit more selfish for more games whereas Luongo is willing to take one for the team and sit on the bench or even waive his no trade clause if need be to do what's best for the Canucks. If guys like Tuukka Rask can sit patiently behind an ageing Thomas for many years, then Schneider can wait longer than just 2 seasons and stop being so selfish. The last thing you want as an organization is to rush the development of your goaltender and I hate to see players go down the Hodgson-pathway like Schneider may be doing right now, but the thought of trading Kesler or the Sedins never crossed anyone's minds, despite the Sedins and Kesler struggling last playoffs and this season and Hodgson having a great rookie season.
So there you have it. Be careful what you wish for CDC, I have a bad feeling that trading Luongo will be the worst move in franchise history, far worse than the Hodgson-deal seemed at first, and will cost this team their opportunity to get back at the Finals. So what's your reason for hating on Luongo?
Edited by DownUndaCanuck, 27 April 2012 - 06:58 AM.